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The Therapy Dogs Nationwide Cadets is a great opportunity for young people to be involved in being part of the volunteer support team.

‘TDN‘ Cadets have their own unique uniform and are encouraged to complete a record-keeping book to log the events and establishment visits they do.  This aims towards different awards and badges.

They will be able to attend Crufts and be involved in parades and promoting the wonderful work that they do.  There is a mentoring programme in place whereby Cadets attend visits in different establishments with an adult volunteer and a ‘ TDN assessed dog.

A quarterly newsletter is sent out to give updates on events but also, to give the opportunity for the young volunteers to share their stories and the amazing work they do.

We are aiming to host an annual workshop, run by Claire, to teach the young support team how to communicate with dogs.  This is important as they will be working closely with dogs but also will allow them to give their own talks to their schools and peers.  A certificate will be given on the completion of this workshop.

The TDN Cadets Vision
  • Inspire young people to be part of an amazing charity and to attend establishments and events so they can see what a difference the dogs make
  • Teach young people of today how to communicate with dogs safely
  • Give the young people the opportunity to be involved at Crufts – parades and working on the stall
  • To ensure they feel part of the team and to be proud of being a TDN member as they are the future of TDN

Claire’s Story

Claire StephensI got involved with therapy dog work when I was 12 when I joined a junior club as my mother was a visiting volunteer with my two Shetland Sheepdogs. I was so proud that I could visit alongside my mum and my dogs.

Throughout my time as a junior, I attended visits to our local nursing home with my mother every week and I was so proud to watch the dogs do their work.  This really gave me a passion for therapy work. I was very lucky that I got to attend Crufts on a yearly basis and promote the amazing work that the charity did, but also the amazing work of the dogs and the volunteers.

Being present on the charity stand at Crufts used to be an amazing opportunity for me and really gave me the confidence to talk to lots of different people. When I was 15, I got involved in organising a parade for the main arena.  The responsibility I was given made me feel very proud and again, boosted my confidence.  I would run the rehearsal and be in the main arena on the day instructing the volunteers what to do and where they needed to be.

I am now in my final year studying veterinary medicine and I cannot imagine being here without the charity work I was involved in when I was growing up.  It is for this reason I have wanted to start a volunteer support group within TDN, as I want to inspire the young people and give them the confidence to be proud of what they do as they are the future of TDN.

The TDN Cadets scheme is open to children between the ages of 10 and 17.

For more information, please contact

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